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How do I decide?

(75 Posts)
kaled Thu 23-Aug-07 22:04:40

I'm sorry, I know this has probably been discussed ad nauseam, but how does one decide whether to BF or FF?

I can see the benefits to BFing - better for baby, bonding, weight loss, free etc.

I can see benefits to FFing - DP being able to feed baby for the first time, other people being able to look after baby, no embarassment factor etc.

I have MIL telling me how brilliant BFing is and I really should do it if only to lose weight and my mother saying she never considered it because of not wanting to do it in front of family. DP says he understands if I want to do it but doesn't seem keen on the idea.

Baby is due in a couple of weeks and I still have no idea which I want to do.

SlightlyMadStar Thu 23-Aug-07 22:05:57

I would say that you should consider trying to bf as you cannot (easily) go back on that decision, whereas you can change you mind and start ff at a later date.

Biglips Thu 23-Aug-07 22:06:08

there is no harm having a go @ Breastfeeding...

gingerninja Thu 23-Aug-07 22:06:28

Hey Kaled, you can express for out and about and DP so get the benefits of both. Honestly BF is so much less faff. It's not always easy to begin with but stick at it. It is well worth it.

notnowbernard Thu 23-Aug-07 22:09:27

I would say keep an open mind about it. Someone on another thread earlier said to decide to breastfeed for ^one day at at time^ (i.e, take it day-by-day) - I think that's great advice.

Definitely try that first feed after the baby's born. It's lovely

Have bf two babies, still feeding the 2nd who is a year old.

Good luck and Congratulations

oregonianabroad Thu 23-Aug-07 22:15:58

You will have to decide what is right for you and your baby; it is really hard, but try not to let what other people might think factor in to your decision.

I found bfing hard with my first son at first, but I crusaded through it (supplimented with ff for a while but then exclusively bfed) and was so glad I did. I hope I don't sound smug saying this, but I consider it one of my biggest achievements because I alone know how hard it was for me (and the pressure from both camps was awful). It got MUCH easier after the first few weeks.

Get support and good luck.

Tommy Thu 23-Aug-07 22:25:57

I would urge you to try breastfeeding and make sure you get lots of support (from MN ) and see how you go!

Don't do it just to lose weight as that may not happen!

Don't worry what other people will say if you feed in front of them as it is none of their business.

But breastfeeding is better for your baby than formula so it mnakes sense to at least try it.

good luck

YummyMam Thu 23-Aug-07 22:30:48

Definitely have a go at BF. You are more likely to regret NOT trying than vice versa. Be prepared for it to be tough in the first few weeks, but ask for support from BF counsellors if you feel you need it. Remember that you can express feeds after a while, so your DP can feed your baby and you will be able to go out. In those first few weeks, when you're shattered and you have lots of visitors wanting to hold your baby, you may relish being forced to sit (or lie) down with your baby and enjoy the cuddles. Even though I had a hard time in the first few weeks (poor positioning, mastistis etc.), I loved this part of it. And the embarassment factor does get better...

tori32 Thu 23-Aug-07 22:35:57

I agree with SMS. I would give it a try and see how you feel. Get support and visit a group before the birth if you can, to get advice. As SMS said its easy to switch toff if it doesn't work for you. You can't easily change from ff to bf. Everyone has different experiences of feeding, just keep an open mind. Try not to feel pressured into anything you don't want to do.
Good Luck x

Meeely2 Thu 23-Aug-07 22:39:38

tori, how very restrained!

kaled - it is up to YOU, it's your baby, don;t feel pressured into anything, whatever u decide will be fine and will have no detrimental affect on either of you.....sorry, we having a breast vs bottle discussion on another thread - it's all got a bit bitchy!

yelnats Thu 23-Aug-07 22:41:18

No harm in trying.

I tried but failed very early on with dd1 and with dd2 I had an open mind - i bought bottles incase it didnt work out but decided to give it a go again anyway. Almost stopped on my first day home from the hospital but dd2 refused a bottle so I ended up feeding her again - 6 months on I'm still going strong - only problem now is Im due back at work in just over a week and she is refusing a bottle!!
The embarassing factor does get better - I can now feed anywhere in front of anyone and the majority of the time people dont have a clue that Im feeding at all. [proud emoticon].

Good luck in whatever you decide - and only you can decide what is best for you.

Jackstini Thu 23-Aug-07 22:47:27

Kaled I would echo other posts and say give it a go. I loved it and am still feeding dd (17 mo)
It is very difficult to go from formula to breast but you always have the option of ff if you bf to start with.
I can't imagine now going through all the faff of bottles every time, although dh fed dd with emb occasionally from about 6 weeks on when required. I kind of skipped over the embarrasment factor - I was always proud of doing it but mostly I was always just looking at my lovely dd and wouldn't have noticed anything else!
Also don't forget about the health benefits for you - bf reduces your risk of at least 4 kinds of cancer, plus osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritus you you do yourself a favour too

pooka Thu 23-Aug-07 22:48:49

Agree wholeheartedly with the one-day-at-a-time advice. Why not give it a whirl and get as much advice and support as possible to help you.
With me it was the other way round - my mother very very pro, my MIL really rather anti. I am so glad that I had the support of my mother and my aged ex-health-visitor and midwife Great Aunt, both of whom were invaluable at geeing me on and making me realise that it was something I could do, and that dd was good at too.
Other posters are quite right in saying that making a decision to breast feed is not an irreversible decision, whereas deciding to formula feed from the outset is more than likely going to kybosh any attempt to breast feed later.
The benefits of ffing that you refer to are not mutually exclusive with breast feeding. I'll admit that despite me being quite proficient at expressing first time round, dd was not keen on bottles (though would take some milk from a cup if pushed, and I wasn't there. But I was able to get out, timed round feeds once it was established. And dh did so many other things with dd, like bathing, winding and so on, that I don't think he missed out.

JodieG1 Thu 23-Aug-07 22:48:57

Personally I think bf is the best way as it's natural and best for baby. Most women can bf and it is better for the baby to do so. You will et over feeding in public, who cares what anyone else thinks? Bf is natural and normal and that's what breasts are for after all.

If I were you I'd bf and give baby the best start. I'm speaking as someone who has done both and I feel total guilt over not bf dd even to this day and she's 5 and a half now. I was a lot younger and knew less than I do now but I wish I would have bf her. She was born prem and started on glucose tube fed then moved onto sma through a tube and I never though to ask about expressing for her and was never asked.

It's one of my biggest regrets actually. I bf ds1 and am still bf ds2. Dd now has asthma and hayfever and I wonder if I had anything to do with that.

ThursdayNext Thu 23-Aug-07 22:57:39

Like others have said if you start off with FF there's no changing to BF.
If you manage to start off with BF and get through the first few weeks you then have lots of choices. You can always switch to formula if you feel it's not working out, or you can mixed feed with some formula and some BF, or express so DP and others can give bottles sometimes. Or just carry on breastfeeding.
I don't think many people find it embarassing once breastfeeding is established. You really can be very discrete.
If you do decide to try to BF, it might be worth asking your mother and DP to try and be supportive of your choice in the first few weeks. Newborns are hard work whatever way you feed them.
Phonelines such as the Breastfeeding Network are very helpful if you decide to try and need any advice.
Good luck

domesticgrumpess Thu 23-Aug-07 23:07:50

Message withdrawn

tori32 Thu 23-Aug-07 23:12:08

Jodie why don't you keep the guilt to yourself, stop scaremongering. Its people being very one sided who create the guilt in 'failed' bfeeders. Choice, choice and choice again.

Meeely2 Thu 23-Aug-07 23:13:50

hear heat tori-the OP might NOT feel guilt in bottle feeding, I know i didn't......

notnowbernard Thu 23-Aug-07 23:14:18

Tori, you can't 'make' anyone feel guilty. Guilt comes from within yourself.

pooka Thu 23-Aug-07 23:16:32

That's a bit harsh isn't it, Tori?
Maybe I've missed something but I fail to see anything in Jodi's post that would be construed as scaremongering. She expressed her own opinions and her own concerns and in a very non-agressive way IMO, as she is entitled to do.

tori32 Thu 23-Aug-07 23:18:34

Domesticgrumpess don't know where you got these so called medical facts but they certainly are NOT proven. In the same kind of way that the link between MMR vaccines are NOT proven to cause autism. PURE SPECULATION. As someone who knows about anatomy of the gut ALL food wears away the cells of the gut which are continually being replaced!! This happens all of our lives. There is NO evidence to suggest that bf or ff affects this in a detrimental way.

tori32 Thu 23-Aug-07 23:20:23

Jodie was trying to suggest that if she had bf dd that she would not have asthma or hayfever. Its not a fact but puts worries into a mothers mind without just cause.

TheQueenOfQuotes Thu 23-Aug-07 23:20:27

Agree with those that say give BF a go .

I exclusively BF DS1
exclusively FF DS2 from 5 days old
DS3 was exclusively BF until 3 weeks, now mainly FF but still has his early AM BF.

Do I feel guilty?? No not at all. If you choose to FF then there's no reason to feel guilty

sleepycat Thu 23-Aug-07 23:21:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Meeely2 Thu 23-Aug-07 23:22:06

expressing a view that involves "It's one of my biggest regrets actually" 'can' influence how a first time mum to be feels. When i rang my mum all full of excitement to tell her boys were coming home from hosp and i had decided to FF, she ummed and ahhhed and it did make me feel guilty until i actually tried it and realised it WAS the best thing for me..... I didn't need anyone making me doubt my decisions..... i knew my own mind, but when someone who you think knows more than you says what you have done is 'wrong' u do doubt yourself for a while.....new mums dont need that......

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